Google is buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, you heard us right. Google has just announced that it will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. Excuse me if I don’t quite believe that last sentence, but okay Google.
This should make Apple and Microsoft very worried in my opinion. They backed Google into a corner with a lot of these patent disputes and now Google has struck back with this acquisition of Motorola which gives them a breadth of patents across several technologies with which to better defend themselves. In fact, Google’s CEO Larry Page said as much in his post on the Google Blog about this acquisition saying “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”
Now not only does this give Google some patent cover, but it also allows them to match the likes of RIM who not only make the operating systems for their phones but the actual devices themselves. Page said that this acquisition would “supercharge” the Android ecosystem and he is right. I expect the Android experience on Motorola to get a whole lot better and if they can just slim down their phone designs to something a little more similar to HTC then I think we have a winner. Oh yeah, and please dump BLUR.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.